Today's computing world is more intricate and complex than ever. Technological advances like cloud computing, remote application infrastructures and VPN connections make it possible for employees to be plugged in all the time. And, this is why workspace management is so necessary.

But, it can be at odds with security. How/why?

Following is a typical scenario: you have a salesman giving a presentation to a potential client at their headquarters. In reviewing his notes for the presentation, he realizes that he forgot some key, last minute graphics. He doesn’t panic though because he realizes that he saved them the previous evening. So he logs on from a system at the prospective client’s office, downloads what he needs and proceeds.

Thankfully, businesses operate in a time where something as simple as a forgotten file doesn’t bring commerce to a grinding halt. And as technology has changed, so have user needs and behaviors.

An employee can access data and applications in a variety of ways – from their laptop, from their home PC, from a client’s PC, from an airport lounge, from their mobile phone, etc. Access, however, is a double-edged sword. It compromises security and remains an ever-changing jigsaw puzzle for IT departments.

One of the most pressing problems for many IT departments is how to keep work environments flexible enough for employees to do their jobs, while also securing company data.

Using Workspace Management to Provide Improved Security and End User Versatility

A user workspace management solution can bridge the gap between security and end user (employee) productivity. This is done largely through decoupling the user experience from the computing environment altogether.

The result is a happy medium – a customized desktop solution that employees can access without fear of compromising network security.
 
 
Are you satisfied with your current help desk services? How well do your help desk technicians perform? If you are a small or mid-size business, help desk services are probably crucial for your operation.

If you are trying to make do with the service personnel available by telephone for your specific software or hardware publisher or manufacturer, you may be frustrated. Support services at these call centers, assuming you can reach them, can be less than you need. Yet, is it practical to hire your own IT staff?

IT technicians and engineers earn high salaries due to the demand for their services. In this business climate, hiring IT staff can cut into your profits in a big way. Analyzing the skills an IT specialist will need for your business can also be confusing.
There may be a better solution for you.

Consider Outsourcing Your IT Support

As the world enters the age of cloud computing, where shared resources are available to all on the internet, you may find exactly what you need. The benefits of IT help desk outsourcing for IT support are many:
  • A pool of experts are made available, able to assist you with years of experience with virtually every application.
  • Your virtual help desk is on duty 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Your business cannot afford technology down time. When you need expert assistance, you may need it immediately. Outsourcing makes that possible. Should you require emergency, hands on assistance, it is available within minutes or hours, providing live IT help at your office.
  • Choose a virtual custom fit for your needs. There is a vast pool of highly trained and experienced IT experts available through the Internet. You can have as much or as little IT help desk support service as you want, for prices far lower than the cost of adding an expert to your staff.
  • Outsourcing provides scalability, so you can add services as your business grows, or adjust the level of expertise you need. Whether you are building a network or streamlining your accounting office, whatever you need is available.
Outsourcing IT makes sense for many businesses. It is worth your time to look into it, and see what is available for your company.
 
 
If you are responsible for coordinating a large conference, begin well in advance by creating a to-do list and consulting with any other members of the team who will be working with you to ensure its success. Remember also that, realistically, you can’t expect to set aside any of your other responsibilities until the event is over just to allow time for this.

Here are some steps that should be part of your planning:
  • Choose a date that won’t conflict with a holiday or another major event in your organization, determine the location and create a realistic budget to cover your expenses.
  • Send out invitation letters and emails to speakers on your list. At the same time, decide what workshops will be offered to those who attend, consult with the workshop facilitators and send out the registration forms.
  • Make a list of all the equipment you will need for the event, such as chairs, tables, podiums, flip charts and audio-visual equipment. Arrange for their rental, if necessary.
Arranging for meals and refreshments

Meet with the hotel or conference center’s event coordinator and make use of their expertise in arranging for coffee breaks, selecting food items and setting up tables for meals. Remember that they want your repeat business and are fully prepared to help you in making things go smoothly.

Using conference registration software

Whether you are receiving registration responses online, over the telephone or through the mail, this can be a tremendous help to you. You will be able to enter the attendees’ names in a data base and use codes to record their various workshop choices. You can also see at a glance when a workshop is filled and when your expected registration reaches capacity, and print out the list of attendees, along with their workshop assignments. To speed up check-in time on the day of the event, this will also enable you to provide every participant with an individualized schedule.

Using conference registration software will ensure that the participants’ information is secure,and the related files can be password-protected on a need-to-know basis. You can also provide everyone who registers with a password to access their conference schedules and registration status.
 
 
When it comes to successful conference planning, the devil is in the details. Following are some simple tips to help tame those difficult details:

Know Your Budget

At the end of the day, money will be an important, if not the most important issue, for both you and your customers. The most interesting conference in the world won’t sell if it’s drastically overpriced. Ensure that hotel rooms are priced reasonably and that catering costs are not excessive. If you’re paying for speakers, make sure the contract spells out all covered and non-covered expenses so there are no surprise requests for reimbursement. Don’t forget to consider incidentals such as VIP gifts and decorations: these small expenses can bust a budget if not considered early in the planning process.

Know Your Audience

So much work goes into planning the programmatic aspects of a conference that basic audience needs sometimes get forgotten. When picking a location, consider the age and location of your audience. If most attendees are from the immediate geographical area, you will need less hotel rooms but more parking. If food and beverages are not provided, make sure there are a variety of restaurants nearby in a range of price points. Proximity to public transportation will likely need to be considered, especially if not all meetings or events are held on-site.

Consolidate Your Information

Using conference management software is an easy and productive way to consolidate information and centralize conference administration. With the right software, your organizational process is streamlined and you can accomplish four or five jobs simultaneously. Most conference management software can be customize to fit your needs, so you can keep track of speakers, attendees, exhibitors, schedules, locations, billing and invoicing all in one place. Even basic tasks like making nametags or place cards can be simplified with this useful tool.

Think Ahead

By the time a conference is over, you will likely be collapsing from exhaustion. Hang in a little bit longer and do a post-conference review. The information gained from this experience can be priceless. Meet with hotel and event staff to get their opinions about what did and didn’t work well. Even if it’s just you and a blank sheet of paper, makes notes while the experience is still fresh. Trial and error can be an excellent teacher, and each conference you plan will likely run smoother than the last.
 
 
The IT help desk function serves as a centralized point of contact within an enterprise for on-demand information and assistance relating to common computer-related problems. IT help desks are designed to help end users resolve a whole gamut of relatively common problems such as password resets, application management issues, patch installations, bug fixes, hardware failures and other similar issues. The widespread adoption of client/server computing models has made the role of IT help desks increasingly important over the past few years. In large organizations, it is not at all uncommon these days to find IT help desks that are staffed on a 24X7 basis.

Yet, despite the vital role that help desks can play, research has consistently shown that more than 70 percent of the problems received and resolved by help desk staff are repetitive and routine issues that can be handled via automation or through outsourcing. This realization has driven a growing number of businesses, especially small and medium firms, to outsource their help desk functions to specialized third-party firms. Such outsourcing can help companies in multiple ways.

For instance, often the companies that offer outsourced IT help desk services are specialized firms with state-of-the-art IT infrastructures and support staff. Many outsourcing firms these days offer 24/7 phone and Web-based support as well as on-site visits and remote troubleshooting and problem-resolving capabilities. Larger outsourcing companies have offices in multiple locations and are able to deliver help desk services to companies regardless of where they might be located.

Often, outsourcing firms give customers a range of service options they can choose from to suit their budgets and requirements. For instance, a company might choose to opt for a dedicated 24/7 IT help desk function. In such situations, the outsourcing company will set aside a specific number of staff and resources to address solely the needs of that client. In other cases, an outsourcing firm might deliver help desk services as part of a broader palette of network and desktop management services. The more established and reputable firms also offer service level agreements and rapid response guarantees that companies can take advantage to ensure they are getting optimum service.

Importantly, since many outsourcing firms use the same IT resources and staff to support multiple clients, they are able to leverage economies of scale. As a result, outsourcing firms are typically able to offer help desk services for substantially less than what it would cost to deliver it in-house.
 
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